A local reader had a Homeright 911 last week, and asked for paint sprayer tips. She was having a rough time with her Command Max (the earlier version of the Finish Max, I think the only difference is the name) I guess you can now call me the “paint DR” because I make house calls. Because I know my paint sprayers so well, I knew immediately that the problem was one of two issues. I assured her that I would help her finish her dresser, and take a look at her Homeright paint sprayer and solve her problem.
When I arrived on scene with my kitty litter bucket full of all my needed supplies, this is what I saw. The previous day Donetta had easily sprayed her first coat of DIY chalky paint as a primer on this dresser and all the drawers. That first coat went smoothly, but then she hit a glitch.
From her email:
I started painting at 1:30 today and just came in the house, now at 6:45 in tears. I was able to put one coat of primer and that is it. Just so you know, I used the primer recipe that you use. The first coat looked wonderful then all hell broke lose. I could not get my command max to work. The paint won't come out. I spent multiple hours cleaning the sprayer and thinning the paint even more. I have paint all over my legs, clothes, and glasses.
As soon as I received her email, I wrote her right back. We’ve all had those DIY projects that have gone bad, right? I know I have. I agreed to drop by the next day to offer some paint sprayer tips.
So, she had done a bang up job on the first coat. I got right to work mixing up another batch of the DIY chalky paint primer for a second coat. I used my Finish Max to do a very quick coat on all the drawers and the dresser. Donetta was surprised how quickly I got that done. Then I asked her what she does for a living, and she is a nurse (bless her heart). I told her “there is no way I could go do your job. This is my job, I do this every day, that’s why I can make it look effortless”.
I cleaned up my Finish Max with the garden hose, then took a look at her Command Max while we waited for the paint to dry. The first thing I did was glance at her air filters. They looked a little dirty, but not so much that the machine was unable to “breathe”. This picture is from a time when I changed my air filters. A good way to reuse your filters is to sort of flip them around so the clean filter shows through the little diagonal slits. After you’ve used them all you can, it’s time to order some new filters. If your machine can’t have air intake, it won’t have enough air to push out your paint.
This video is from when I had a Command Max. I still clean my Finish Max in this exact same way when I am painting outdoors.
Next up was the second glance, and my suspicions were confirmed. There are two small air holes on either side of where the tube inserts. They can become clogged. I didn’t take a picture of the Command Max, it was hot, and we were sort of in a rush. So, I asked Donetta how she generally cleans her paint sprayer and she said in the kitchen sink. I highly recommend using the garden hose to clean your Finish Max. The garden hose with a nozzle attached has a lot more pressure and can clear all the crevices much better.
This foam splash guard is an accessory you can purchase online at Homeright to insure that water and paint will not get into the motor housing. It will also keep those holes clear.
After getting her Command Max fixed up, I continued with my Finish Max to put a coat of black paint on the dresser.
It was getting a little late, so I left Donetta to do the second coat of black using her Command Max the next day.
side note: I spoke to Donetta about getting “after” shots of her dresser. Things have not gone as planned. She thinks it is the paint she used. While trying to distress it, the paint was peeling. She’s used the DIY chalky paint primer before, but not in this paint.
Paint Sprayer Accessories
These are some of the Finish Max accessories that I recommend. They are all available on Homeright.com. An extra paint cup will allow you to easily flush your sprayer in between coats, while storing your paint in the original cup—ready for that second coat.
If you clean your Finish Max in a utility sink, you will find the Rapid Clean Tool very useful. Simply connect it to your faucet to clean your sprayer.
Let’s sum this all up in some bullet points, shall we?
To keep your Command Max and Finish Max running smoothly, please do the following:
- Clean immediately after each use (see steps below)
- Insure that the holes on either side of the tube are clear of paint (or use a foam splash guard and be worry free
- Adjust or change your air filters on a regular basis
How I clean my Finish Max (between coats and when I’m finished for the day)
- Flush the sprayer with a paint cup of clean water
- Unplug the sprayer
- Remove the cup, rinse out with a garden hose
- Remove the paint tube, rinse with the garden hose
- Unscrew the plastic air cap ring, remove the winged spray cap and the inner spacer, rinse with the garden hose
- Unscrew the brass nozzle, use the garden hose to shoot a stream of water through the nozzle to thoroughly clean (the first time you remove this, you may need a wrench or pliers, after you replace it, hand tighten it and the next time you will be able to remove it easily)
- Use the hose on a gentle spray to rinse the rim and the foam splash guard (if not using a foam splash guard skip to #9)
- Remove the foam splash guard and clean it
- With the nozzle, tube, and all the plastic parts removed, I carefully shoot water into the rim where the tube is normally inserted, allowing the water to flow through the same path that my paint travels. (do not do this while the brass nozzle is still attached)
- I allow all my parts to dry, then replace everything and either do a second coat or store it away for the next project.
So, do you have any questions about using a Finish Max or need more paint sprayer tips? I’m here to help.
UPDATED to add Donetta's finished project! Isn't it beautiful?
I love stain and paint together!
Nice job Donetta!
See more of my Homeright Projects here
I am a proud Homeright Brand Ambassador. Although they furnish me with products, all thoughts, opinions and projects are my own. I wholeheartedly recommend purchasing a Finish Max.
Thanks for this helpful post. I see it's from several years ago, but I just bought my first Homeright Finish Max Super Paint Sprayer. I am literally in between coats right now. My paint (water-based Behr for cabinets) says to wait 2 hours between coats. Do you clean it in between? Or just clean the nozzle and test it out? I put it in the fridge. I'm hoping I don't have to clean entire thing in between coats!
Or do you just flush it out with water in between coats? Can I just use any large cup with water under the nozzle since I don't have an extra Homeright cup right now?
Sorry for the delayed response. I hope you get notification of this reply.
I've never put mine in the fridge, but I always try to keep it cool in between coats. Generally in the shade outdoors.
I would clear the nozzle, or at least do a test spray when you fire it back up.
You shouldn't use a cup other than the homeright cup. It needs to "suck air" in order to operate.
I'm here if you have any other questions.
good luck with your cabinets!!!
Hi Gail, we are having the issue where paint continues to flow and splatter after trigger release. The flow stops about 1 second after trigger release, but for that one second paint is flowing out and making a mess of the cabinet doors we are trying to paint. Any ideas?
I can feel your frustration. How awful.
Do you have an extra paint cup that you can see how water flows?
Do you remove the nozzle every time you clean the sprayer?
Are you using oil based paint?
Did you strain the paint?
Did you dilute it at all?
I'm here to help you in any way I can from afar!!!
Wow, I love your blog and website!
I have a couple questions for you:
What do you do with your paint sprayer while you are waiting for the paint to dry?
How long do you wait to use your sprayer once you have washed it?
Thank you so much for sharing all your terrific insights! I'm excited to get spraying my cabinets 🙂
Great questions! I move my paint and sprayer to a cool shady spot. It's helpful to remove the outer rim, and wipe of the nozzle while you're waiting for the second coat. How long do I wait after I've washed it? I don't. I use it immediately (for water based latex paint)
Thank you so much for your insight Gail!
I have another question for you. I watched the video you posted on how to clean the sprayer. I noticed that after you ran a cup of water through the sprayer to clean, your air cap parts and nozzle were totally clean. After I run water through my sprayer, my air cap parts and nozzle are completely coated with paint. I just assumed that was normal, but after seeing yours I realize that may not be the case. When I take them off, there is usually paint built up in that area that drains out. Also, while I am painting I have to continually use the little cleaning brush to clean off my sprayer tip.
Any thoughts? Thanks again!!
I am having issues with splattering/orange peel and wondering if this could be related. I have been really diligent about throughly cleaning everything. And I think I am diluting the paint enough. I usually strain twice before spraying to eliminate air bubbles.
The nozzle is totally clean, but after many uses, I have paint splattered all over the caps etc. As long as the holes are clear, I don't worry about the paint splatters. Just to clarify, you are using water based paint when you clean with water? Not oil based paint?
I too, have to wipe my nozzle tip, but I do it without even thinking, generally with a damp rag or my finger. LOL
splattering and air bubbles. check out THIS project. https://www.myrepurposedlife.com/diy-entryway-table/
look for the picture above this text One last coat of semi-gloss with the Finish Max. I wised up, and left it on 2 small dollies so I could easily move the diy entryway table around. You can see that the paint looks a little weird, but you’ll notice in the “after” shots, it dried wonderfully!
oftentimes, the paint levels itself out, and bubbles just disappear.
I've painted hundreds of gallons of paint through various Finish Max sprayers. When you're wanting a quick flawless finish, you can't beat it.
I'm always here for questions or help.
I have the Super Max sprayer and need a new filter. I found that Homeright charges $5.99 plus $10+ for shipping for a 2" square of filter material. Anyone found the filter material so that they can cut their own filters?
I have never thought of that, crazy that it never occurred to me to do that. I have flipped them, washed them and overused them, but never thought about a DIY option. I'll have to try that and update my article.
Thinking about the material used for the filter, the option that jumps out at me is some sort of polyester quilt batting material. I recently used some to make a rim for some little hat for a santa craft. Although it doesn't seem as thick, so you may need to use several layers. The important thing is to be sure your sprayer can breathe.
You can use scotch bright pads preferably red to make replaceable filters for your airless sprayer’s
Thanks for this post, it was so helpful! Question, I faithfully clean my HomeRight Super Max sprayer and nothing is clogged. I noticed that the paint is coming out unevenly. It sprays paint out for a second then stops for a second then does it all over again as im holding the gun handle down. Any suggestions?
I'm racking my brain to figure this one out. Are your filters dirty?
Have you tried spraying water through it to see how it reacts that way?
I'm here if you still have problems if those issues don't solve it.
Thanks so much, Gail! I bought my Homeright Finish Max based on your blog and projects back in 2015. My latest project was painting my fence, and it stopped spraying in the middle of the project. I tried everything I knew and was looking for one to replace it when I read this blog entry. Those little holes next to the intake were clogged! I didn’t even know about those, duh! Some poking with a long upholstery needle to clear the holes, and it’s working again. Yay! I didn’t know about that splash guard accessory, I’ll order it to keep them from clogging up again.
I'm so happy you found my blog post helpful. 🙂 I love, love, love my Finish Max Sprayers! Just talking about them, makes me want to paint something. 🙂
Curious if anyone has used this sprayer with a urethane based paint. I've purchased Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel and I'm wondering if anyone has experience using the equipment with this paint. Any thoughts or comments are encouraged!
I'm not familiar with this exact paint. I'm guessing it is not soap and water cleanup. I have used oil based paint where it was necessary to use lacquer thinner to clean up your sprayer.
I hope this helps some. You can check out the Homeright DIY Blog for more tips and suggestions.
John R Green
You saved me $80! thought I cleaned everything but the paint still would not pump out. Read " There are two small air holes on either side of where the tube inserts. They can become clogged. " Sure enough mine were clogged and worked after I poked the paint out them!
I am so happy my article helped you John! Thank you so much for letting me know, it made me smile-actually made my day! It's why I love what I do, helping people!
Hi Gail -
I've had my Finish Max for a couple of years and take great care of it. I haven't used it in quite some time, but today when I attempted to paint a dresser, the flow would not stop when I let go of the trigger. Trying to decide if this is a minor fix or if it's time for a new Finish Max. Any ideas or suggestions?
I have had that happen with my sprayers on occasion. However, the air flow continued for me, but not the paint flow. Is that what happened to you? I simply unplugged mine, and then it worked it way out eventually. 🙂
May I suggest if you do get a new sprayer that you get the Super Finish Max Extra. It has 3 different nozzles for better variety.
Thanks, Gail, for the response. The only way to stop the paint flow was to unplug it, which I did several times. Sadly, it continued to happen once I replugged and restarted. I have loved this sprayer and hate to put her down, but maybe it's time for a new and improved one. Thanks so much for the suggestion. BTW, my kids' intheritance has taken a hit as a result of how much I love your blog and project ideas. Keep them coming!
I'm sorry that's happening to you. I'll reach out to my rep to see what she says about this issue.
stay tuned for another great project . . .
I have one question about the sprayer. It works fine but seems I always have to remove paint build up on the tip of the nozzle. It seems to gunk up after 5 minutes of spraying, What an I doing wrong. I followed your cleaning instructions. Thanks
It seems to happen to me more when the weather is warm. I use to scrape it off with my fingernail, but I find that it is so much better to quickly remove the air cap and wipe off the nozzle. It seems doing it this way keeps it cleaner longer. 🙂
I hope this helps.
I am going to spray a project with Benjamin Moore Advance paint and my Homeright Finish sprayer. I am wondering how much to thin it. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinning to get paint to flow through the cup in 30 seconds. Wonder what your thinning experience has been. Enjoyed the blog
I'll be replying here on the blog and via email so that you don't miss it.
I have never use BM paint. I must confess that I have probably 5-6 viscosity cups in my stash, all unopened. I have never used them-not once. All paint is different. With the new Finish Max Super, I generally don't have to thin my paint. However, some paint I used recently was really thick and I did have to dilute the latex paint with water. That being said. I think the single most important factor is straining your paint prior to using it in any sprayer. I never skip that step.
I have sprayed upwards of 90 gallons of paint over the years and no two jobs or gallons seem to be the same. So I really can't give you a ratio. If your paint is not spraying, be sure to adjust the thumb screw to allow more paint to flow. If that doesn't work, add a bit of water.
I like to use several very light coats to get the best (flawless) finish possible. The thinner the paint, the better the finish. Of course, too thin and it will run.
I wish I could give you an exact answer, but there are so many variables. Variables such as weather conditions, ie humidity and temperature are just two factors to consider.
I recently painted a project with snow on the ground. I let the sprayer, paint and furniture acclimate to room temperature before hauling them all outside to paint. It was about 48-50 degrees and partly sunny.
I hope some of this helps. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Hello Gail! I love your blog, and would appreciate your expertise. I read through all of your helpful tips above. I own a HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer, and have used it twice. I used it the first time on a large room with great results and did not need to stop and clean it out once! I rinsed it out thoroughly in our kitchen sink that has a very strong spray and let it air dry in the garage. I went to use it yesterday and it was a total nightmare. I strained the paint and added a bit of water per the manual and waited the alotted time 25-40 seconds. I got all set to paint my wall, and not much was achieved in 4 hours. The brass nozzle was continuously clogging (every few minutes), and the spray coming out was minimal at best maybe an inch on the wall. I took the sprayer apart 6 times to make sure everything was clear of buildup. Nothing was gunked up, I have the styrofoam guard in place, etc. and All holes were clear. Any ideas???? Thank you so much!!! Jill from Texas
Oh my! I wish I was there to help. When you cleaned it in your sink, did you totally remove the brass nozzle? Are your filters dirty? My recommendation would be to put some warm soapy water in the cup and spray it till the cup is empty. (assuming you used water based paint when you did the walls)
If the filters are dirty, you can remove them, flip them over where you see white filter instead of the hash paint marks.
I'm here to help in any way I can.
I have been having this problem as well today. I've only ever used chalk paint in it and cleaned it well, including the nozzle and the filters and even the holes next to the straw (even though I have the foam cover). In the past when I have used it, even the first coat gives fairly good coverage but not today. It seems to spray well for 5-10 seconds and then little to no spray comes out. It helps some to scrape the paint off the nozzle, but it's not so warm today that it should be drying instantly. I've cleaned it and recleaned it. The paint seems to be the correct consistency and the filters are clean. Please help.
It sounds like you've got all the bases covered. I appreciate you giving so many details because otherwise I would have suggested everything you have already done.
I would recommend filling the sprayer with water and spraying it through the machine. In cooler weather, I let the paint warm up in the sun as well as the paint sprayer. (the paint tends to thicken up in colder weather)
If you are still having problems after the water, don't hesitate to reach out to me again. I have sprayed upwards of 100 gallons of paint through my finish max paint sprayers.
I have been using my max sprayer for several days. It's been working well. Used it on chalk paint first, then last night on minwax stain. It worked flawlessly last night. Cleaned with mineral spirits well. This morning, back to chalk paint and hardly anything is coming out of the sprayer. I checked the two little holes, no clog. I've cleaned it out several times. I've thinned the paint, I've adjusted the foam paint guard. The only thing I can think is that maybe there is something wrong with the foam paint guard. It seems like it doesn't fit in place as perfectly as it did yesterday. Maybe the mineral spirits messed with it or something? I've used lacquer thinner to clean it on previous projects, which is a much stronger product, and never had a problem with it. I don't know. I'm pretty frustrated with it at this point. Thanks for any help!
My Finish Max doesn't have the foam guard. I did notice that the new machines come with it installed now. Have you checked to make sure your pin is moving when you're pulling the trigger? (while it is unplugged) The two holes should not have an issue since you have the foam guard. Did you remove the brass nozzle when you cleaned it? The only other thing I can think of is that maybe the filters are not allowing the proper amount of air flow.
One last question, how full are you filling the cup with the chalk paint? I'm here to help in any way I can.
Finish Max is the only paint sprayer I have ever used. I don't have any complaints about it. and thank you for your tips, I really need it since I am still not an 'expert' on paint sprayers.
I got a Finish Max for Christmas and finally am using it to paint my kitchen table frame and chairs. I have been using flotrol with my satin latex paint until the paint runs 20-40 seconds and I end up getting a bit of a granular finish. I read about all these users who love the smooth finish they get with their Finish Max and while my coverage is good, I end up having to use a fine sandpaper to get a smooth texture. Do you have any insights? Should I not be using flotrol?
I have never used flotrol in or out of a sprayer, so I can't really say much about it. I use satin, and semi-gloss paint in my sprayer with and without plaster of paris to make my own primer.
I always recommend sanding flat surfaces with lightweight brown craft paper (in between coats) to get the VERY best finish. In addition you may want to lay your table on it's side and spray ONTO the top of the table as opposed to spraying it upright. I hope this helps. I want everyone to love the Finish Max as much as I do. I used mine yesterday for my picket fence, and then for a project and a small furniture piece that was a challenge with the sprayer, but impossible to paint with a brush!
Home Right Finish Max is one of the best paint sprayer I've ever used. Those tips are superb. Thank you so much.
I'm so happy you took the time to leave a comment Linda! I've learned a lot about the Finish Max since I use it several times a week. 🙂
Thanks for all of the info Gail. I'm doing my first project( kitchen cabinets) with the Finish Max and have a couple of questions.
Do all of these sprayers have a brass nozzle that screws off? Mine doesn't seem like it can be removed.
How do you reach the rubbery inside the rim where the paint cup attaches to get it really clean? I've tried a sponge, tooth brush, and tooth pick, but am having a hard time getting the paint off, which is now dry.
The sprayer worked great for both coats of primer, but leaked and clogged with the SW ProClassic. I had to wipe the nozzle frequently to try to prevent it. Any suggestions?
Yes, the brass nozzle screws off. You may have to use pliers the first time, but after that, when you screw it on by hand, it will be easy to remove.
The rubbery gasket on my gets paint on it without causing a problem. I clean what I can, but don't worry about the rest. I use a vegetable brush to clean it.
You say it leaked and clogged. Did you strain your paint?
Cleaning the brass nozzle may help, but remember to always strain your paint. I use mesh paint strainers from amazon. They are cheap and reusable.
There are two holes that may get clogged if you tend to get a lot of paint near the point where the intake tube inserts. (I've never had them blog because I clean my Finish Max with the hose)
I'm always here if you ever have any problems. Let me know if you still can't get it to work. I want you to have a good experience with your Finish Max.
I was able to remove the nozzle with pliers and see the build-up. I didn't strain the paint, as it was a brand new can, but will do so in the future. Thanks again!
I would like to paint the cement blocks on the foundation of my house. Would on of the Home Right Sprayers work ?
Yes, I think the Homeright Finish Max would be great to paint the blocks on the foundation of your house. Although the overspray is minimal, I would protect your bricks/vinyl or whatever you have with a drop cloth.
Then after you're done, you'll have the paint sprayer to do fun projects!
Thank you so much.
All I can say is..."where in the heck has that foam splash guard been all my life?" Great post and tips Gail, and glad you have a new calling in life as an on call Paint Dr.! Lol! I am sure she was very grateful!
Great tips!! I just had to unplug those 2 holes myself 🙂
I always learn something new about caring for my Command Max from you, Gail. Now I'll be buying an extra paint cup!
I just bought a HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer. I haven't used it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Those tips are great! Thank you so much! I will definitely be buying an extra cup and a splash guard. The step by step cleaning instructions will be very useful too. Thanks again!
I'm just an email away if you ever have any questions. Once you use it a few times, it becomes so easy to set up, break down, and clean.
Enjoy your new toy!
Never have gotten into using one of those. Still doing it the old fashion way.....a paint brush or a can of spray paint....lol
Now im scared 🙁 ...I got my daughters to get me Homeright paint sprayer for Mother's day thanks to your blog which I loveeeee and woohooo they listened and I got it ) ..When I do work I want it done fast I work fast 🙂 ...just having to take everything apart to clean doesn't appeal to me 🙁 ...but I'm glad I read this before I used it so I will know what to do 🙂 ...Gail I don't follow to many people but I like the way you think as I too change pieces around I loveeee your blogs ...thank you ...
The time you save painting, will make the time spent cleaning your Finish Max well worth it. I can break it down, clean it and put it back together in about 8 minutes. I've had other paint sprayers that were much more involved to clean. Springs and little parts to clean. I'm here if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Thanks for the tips Gail. I was just noticing the ither day my filters are dirty and need to order a set. Also while cleaning. I was afraid of getting water in the motor so I will be ordering the foam cover as well. Thanks for the great post.
Thanks for all the tips.....along with the photos.....this is sure to help many people.